How to Take Better Vacation Photos with your Smartphone

Besides a few fresh fish filets, photographs of your adventures are the best souvenirs you can bring home from Sointula Lodge.

You don’t have to have an expensive or complicated DSLR camera to capture stunning pictures during your vacation. Armed with your smartphone and a few simple tricks, you can take awesome photos you’ll love to show off when you get back home. Keep reading to learn the tips you need to take your smartphone pictures to the next level.

Turn On Gridlines

One of the details that set great photos apart from good ones is the ratio of the shot. The “rule of thirds” is an artistic principle that photographers use to line up their shot. Imagine that your field of view is divided into three sections vertically and three sections horizontally. The two vertical and two horizontal lines that divide your image, as well as the places that they come together, are where our eyes naturally go when we look at a picture.

Placing your subject on these lines and points, or dividing your landscape up evenly in those horizontal and vertical sections, will help you fill the frame and create visual interest. For instance, if you want to capture a shot of your friend standing on the deck of a boat holding their latest catch, don’t line them up in the middle of the shot. Instead, place them on one of the two vertical lines in your shot. If you want to take a picture of the shoreline covered in trees, place the sky above the trees in the top third of your field of view, the trees in the middle, and the water in the bottom, to balance your shot.

The result will be a more professional-looking image that you’ll want to print and frame when you get home!

If you have any trouble imagining those gridlines on your own, you might be in luck. Many new smartphone cameras have a setting that allows you to display gridlines on your screen. This makes it fast and easy to get awesome shots!

Change Your Focus

With every new model, smartphone manufacturers compete to produce phones with the latest features. This means that they change each new model’s features to fit what users want, based on how they use their phones each day. And with selfies or quick, everyday snaps so popular, it makes sense that smartphone cameras are designed with that in mind.

When you take a picture on your phone without changing any settings, your camera will likely focus on the foreground. Many are equipped to find faces or movement and zero-in on that. That’s great for getting a picture of your dog right before he catches a treat. It’s not so great for capturing landscape photos. It can cause your phone to focus on whatever is closest to you, and leave your background blurry and out-of-focus.

To fix this, all you’ll need to do is tap your phone’s screen to adjust the camera’s focus. Tap on the spot that you want the focus to be on, like the person or animal that you’re taking a photo of. Your camera will automatically adjust the focus to give you a crisp, clear picture.

Look For Patterns

Among the pictures of fish or wilderness on the shoreline, try adding a few unusual shots to the mix.  If you want a few more frame-worthy pictures, keep your eye out for patterns occurring around you during your trip.

Ripples on the water, lines of fish waiting on ice, or rocks scattered on a beach might not seem like great camera subjects. But zooming in close to let these patterns fill your frame, or maybe taking an unusual angle to get the shot can lead to some of your favorite photos of the whole trip!

Turn on Burst Mode

Dreaming of capturing a picture of a whale’s tail slapping the surface during an Eco Tour? Want to get a shot just as your spouse reels their catch over the side of the boat?

Even with lightning-fast fingers, capturing those fast shots can be a challenge. There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing something incredible and thinking you captured it on your camera, only to find that you snapped your pic just a little too late.

Luckily, most smartphones are equipped with a tool that can help with this; burst mode. On an iPhone and many Android phones, holding down the shutter button when you’re taking a picture will cause your camera to continue taking pictures until you release it. This increases your chance of capturing the perfect shot.

Sointula Lodge Memories: Vacation Photos with your Smartphone

Taking home a memory card full of pictures is a wonderful way to share your adventure with Sointula Lodge with friends, or to look back on your memories for years to come. With these tips, you can improve your photography skills with the phone you already have, no expensive camera equipment required!


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